Ecommerce worldwide is booming. Global sales for the industry hit an estimated $1.3 trillion in 2014, a record high and a total that will only grow as companies find more ways to make online shopping and delivery more convenient (and less expensive). Yesterday marked the launch of Jet.com, a members-only platform that has received some $220 million in venture funding and is touted as a less expensive option than (and direct competitor to) Amazon. Even though Jet.com just launched, its business model—which brings in profits only through membership fees—is attracting a lot of VC attention. The company is said to be in talks for another round that could value it at up to $3 billion. Here are some of the developments in the ecommerce industry over the past year, as pertaining to venture capital:
Alibaba - The Chinese online retail giant, which was backed by KPC&B, Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, among others, produced the largest U.S. IPO of all time when it raised $25 billion in September.
Flipkart - Based in India, the online marketplace has raised $2.25 billion in VC since last July, bringing its total funding to $3.25 billion. With backers including Tiger Global, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures, Flipkart's most recent valuation is $15 billion.
Jet.com - Even before launch, the new ecommerce platform was valued at $600 million. With $220 million in VC funding to date (and a new round reportedly brewing), the members-only club promises lower prices by making its shipments more efficient. Backers include New Enterprise Associates, Norwest Venture Partners and Google Ventures.
Snapdeal - Another challenger in the India market, Snapdeal has raised more than $1 billion in VC, including a $627 million round in October. That financing, led by SoftBank, reportedly valued the company at $3 billion.
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